WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton today announced new steps to promote the advancement of people with disabilities who work for the federal government, saying he wanted to ensure that the nation's largest employer leads by example.

``I'm releasing the first-ever government plan to ensure positive career paths for people with disabilities in our federal work force,'' Clinton said in his weekly radio address. ``I'm directing every federal agency and department to take concrete action to expand opportunities for people with disabilities in all levels of the work force, from entry to senior ranks.''

The president said that despite good economic times, three out of four people with disabilities who want to work can't find work. He also said that if economic prosperity is going to continue, employers must seek new pools of employees.

``I'm calling on all agencies to recruit and promote people with disabilities, to reach out to students with disabilities, to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities,'' Clinton said. ``I'm also calling on our federal human resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management, to ensure that every agency gets the help it needs to fulfill these commitments. We are the nation's largest employer. I want it to be a model for private industry, and this plan will help to do just that.''

Clinton also renewed his call for Congress to pass legislation that would ensure that people with disabilities don't lose their federal health care coverage when they get jobs.

``One of the biggest barriers facing people with disabilities is the fear of losing their health insurance when they get a job,'' he said.

Under current law, many people with disabilities cannot keep their Medicaid or Medicare coverage if they work.